Sen. Ted Cruz is taking heat from conservative Christians over statements he made in Manhattan about same-sex marriage. Cruz seemed to diminish the importance of same-sex marriage to his potential presidency in a secret recording of a Manhattan gathering. The popular Iowa political blog Caffeinated Thoughts has a partial transcript:

Male questioner: “Can I ask you a question? So, I’m a big supporter. And the only issue I really disagree with you about is gay marriage. And I’m curious: Given all the problems that the country’s facing — like ISIS, the growth of government — how big a priority is fighting gay marriage going to be to a Cruz administration?”
Cruz: “My view on gay marriage is that I’m a constitutionalist and marriage is a question for the states. And so I think if someone wants to change the marriage laws of their state, the way to do so is convince your fellow citizens — and change them democratically, rather than five unelected judges. … Being a constitutionalist is integral to my approach to every other issue. So that I’m very devoted to.”
Same questioner: “So would you say it’s like a top-three priority for you — fighting gay marriage?”
Cruz: “No. I would say defending the Constitution is a top priority. And that cuts across the whole spectrum — whether it’s defending [the] First Amendment, defending religious liberty, stopping courts from making public policy issues that are left to the people. …
“I also think the 10th Amendment of the Constitution cuts across a whole lot of issues and can bring people together. People of New York may well resolve the marriage question differently than the people of Florida or Texas or Ohio. … That’s why we have 50 states — to allow a diversity of views. And so that is a core commitment.”

Caffeinated Thoughts opined:

Now Ted Cruz was speaking not to an evangelical college, but to a high-powered donor who doesn’t agree with him on gay marriage and he wouldn’t even state any position on whether same sex marriage should be legal or not. His position is he’s a Constitutionalist and it has nothing to do with sacraments or defending family or standing up for values or saving the country from destruction. The way he explained it in New York, it’s about making sure, if same sex marriage is legalized, it’s done properly.

A political action committee supporting Mike Huckabee — who sitting at the back of the pack in the Iowa polls — launched an ad campaign targeting Cruz’ statements, The Blaze reports:

In what could be a brewing battle between the current Iowa frontrunner and the 2008 winner of the Iowa caucus, a radio ad by a pro-Mike Huckabee group is claiming there are “Two Teds” — the Ted Cruz raising money in New York and the one campaigning in Iowa.
The ad’s audio from a Manhattan fundraiser includes someone asking the Texas senator if rolling back gay marriage is a top-three priority for him as president. Cruz answers, “No.”
The pro-Huckabee political action committee, Pursuing America’s Greatness — which isn’t directly connected to the Huckabee campaign — wasted little time in turning the audio into an ad. But that actually wasn’t all Cruz said; he elaborated to say his main goal is defending the Constitution.
The ad says: “Listen to Cruz raise money in New York City from liberals who don’t share our conservative Iowa values. … Remember, the next time Cruz tells you he shares your values, there are two Teds.”

Fellow Republican candidate Carly Fiorina took a dig at Cruz over the weekend:

During an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union, Fiorina alluded to Cruz’s remarks.
“We’ll see if Ted Cruz has the nomination locked up, but I would say that Ted Cruz is just like any other politician,” Fiorina said. “He says one thing in Manhattan. He says another thing in Iowa. He says whatever he needs to say to get elected and then he’s going to do as he pleases.”
“I think the American people are tired of the political class that promises much and delivers much of the same,” she added.

Iowa State Daily columnist Haley Brase gives Obama top marks for appearing on the cover of OUT magazine and for his work on LGBT equality:

Going into his administration Obama knew LGBT equality was important.

“My mom instilled in me the strong belief that every person is of equal worth. At the same time, growing up as a black guy with a funny name, I was often reminded of exactly what it felt like to be on the outside. One of the reasons I got involved in politics was to help deliver on our promise that we’re created equal, and that no one should be excluded from the American dream just because of who they are,” Obama said.

For this I send Obama a standing ovation because I couldn’t agree more. I am a heterosexual female, but I believe everyone, no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation, should have the same right to marry and be who they want to.

In the Gazette, in a column, Wilford H. Stone of Lynch Dallas Attorneys at Law attempted to lay out for businesses the law in Iowa as at pertains to gender identity discrimination, while also using incorrect terminology:

What is a “transgendered” person? Is a transgendered person protected from discrimination and harassment under Iowa law?
Transgender individuals are people with a gender identity that is different from the biological sex assigned to them at birth. Someone who is born male but who identifies as female is a transgender person and a woman.
Similarly, a person born female but who identifies as male is a transgender person and a man.
Effective 2007, gender identity and sexual orientation became protected classes under Iowa Code Chapter 216. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission similarly has found that transgender discrimination is discrimination on the basis of “sex,” as Title VII bars discrimination not only on the basis of biological sex but because of gender stereotyping, as well.
The American Civil Liberties Union recently filed a discrimination charge with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission on behalf of a transgendered woman against a Des Moines hotel for its alleged treatment of her when she tried to check in.
According to her complaint, front-desk employees gave her “looks of disgust,” avoided eye contact and took over an hour to check her in. Other, non-transgendered guests arrived and allegedly checked in within five minutes.


A Wisconsin high school student is being accused of engaging in gay panic violence against a teacher, the Green Bay Gazette reports:

A Southwest High School student is charged with a felony after punching a teacher over a remark the teacher says was intended as a joke.

Ridwaan H. Mohamud, 17, is accused of breaking the nose of a teacher by punching him in the face Monday morning at the school.

He is charged as an adult in Brown County Circuit Court with substantial battery and disorderly conduct and could face 3½ years in prison if convicted.

The male teacher had been counseling Mohamud Friday about his getting picked on by someone at the school, and the teacher told him he’d be willing to date him, the criminal complaint says. The teacher said he intended the remark as a joke and as a way to tell Mohamud he wasn’t ugly.

Wisconsin Democrats are hoping to make the state’s marriage laws gender neutral now that marriage equality is the law, the Capitol Times reports:

Four Democrats are leading an effort to make Wisconsin’s marriage statutes gender-neutral, following the U.S. Supreme Court’s Juneruling that states cannot ban same-sex marriage.
The bill would pull references to husbands, wives, mothers and fathers and replace them with gender-neutral terms.
“Because Wisconsin’s statutes are outdated, many same-sex couples still face legal challenges, particularly when seeking parental rights,” said bill author Rep. Mark Spreitzer, D-Beloit, in a statement. “We think it fitting that at this time of year, we can bring comfort and joy to every legally married same-sex couple, and to every child of legally married same-sex parents in Wisconsin.”
Spreitzer is joined on the bill by Reps. JoCasta Zamarripa, D-Milwaukee, Chris Taylor, D-Madison, and Tim Carpenter, D-Milwaukee.
The lawmakers said the changes would help same-sex couples with adoption, tax filing and even obtaining things like spousal fishing licenses.
“Plain and simple, this bill helps make families whole. These updates to our marriage and family law statutes are desperately needed by families throughout Wisconsin,” Taylor said in a statement.

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Andy Birkey has written for a number of Minnesota and national publications. He founded Eleventh Avenue South which ran from 2002-2011, wrote for the Minnesota Independent from 2006-2011, the American Independent from 2010-2013. His writing has appeared in The Advocate, The Star Tribune, The Huffington Post, Salon, Cagle News Service, Twin Cities Daily Planet, TheUptake, and much more. His writing on LGBT issues, the religious right and social justice has won awards including Best Beat Reporting by the Online News Association, Best Series by the Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and an honorable mention by the Sex-Positive Journalism awards.


  1. […] Every single candidate that has been vying for the Republican nomination this cycle is supportive of all of the same things Trump is spouting off about. They just try to make it sound less blatantly hateful. Unless they’re talking about gays, of course, then they’re blatant: Rick Santorum attacks Scott Walker as not anti-gay enough, or Three Republican candidates speak at anti-gay pastor’s rally or Iowa conservatives target Cruz for not being anti-LGBT enough. […]


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